Job-for-sale scam: PMO calls up rly board chairman

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: May 9 2013, 08:37am hrs
In a new twist to the railway job-for-sale scam, the Prime Minister's office (PMO) on Wednesday sought clarification from the Chairman Railway Board (CRB) on the appointment process for top jobs.

The chairman, Vinay Mittal, was called by the PMO to clarify the matter. All files related to the appointment of rail board members in recent years were also sought by the PMO, a rail board official told FE.

Rail board consists of seven members, including the chairman, from different railway services and a member of board, who enjoys the rank of an ex-officio secretary to the government of India. The chairman enjoys the rank of cabinet secretary. All appointments to the rail board in recent years is now under the CBI scanner after the case of rail minister PK Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla accepting bribe from rail board bember (staff) Mahesh Kumar for his promotion cropped up.

Meanwhile, the CBI, which has booked eight people in the R10-crore rail bribery case, is also likely quiz the personal staff of Bansal, including his personal secretary and officer on special duty. The agency will also question Mittal and current member (electrical) Kulbhushan.

The CBI is also probing whether earlier appointments made in the rail board were also influenced politically. The money trail of Singla is also being investigated and the agency is also trying to understand his clout in the rail bhawan, a source said.

Questions have been raised time and again on the structure of all powerful railway board. Various committees in the past have given recommendations for its restructuring, but the board has always been against it.